Celebrating International Dentists’ Day

As we mark International Dentists’ Day on 9 February, we speak to clinicians across the world about why they love and celebrate dentistry.

Dr Chinwe Akuonu – UK

As a dentist, I enjoy putting smiles on my patients faces: be that through replacing missing teeth, getting a patient out of pain, or enhancing a smile through cosmetic procedures. What I currently love most about dentistry is the use of AI and the progression of technology within the sector.

The implementation of the digital approach within the profession not only makes our patients’ experiences more pleasant, but also makes our jobs as dentists simpler and more exciting!

I also love the introduction of advanced materials which has changed the old ways of dentistry and has allowed us to practice with a minimally invasive approach, while also making an impact on prevention on all levels. I can positively say that the general progress of digital technology also contributes to the bigger picture of improving the education and training of young and upcoming dentists, which is very exciting.

Personally, I think this is a great time to be a dentist! In the UK, I love the fact that there are strong dental support networks which help young dentists develop and thrive, meaning that you are never alone and someone has always got your back at any stage of your career.

Dr Robert Chaffe – Australia

I’m Dr Robert Chaffe, and I am a dentist with a special interest in endodontics, orthodontics and restorative dentistry working in the Gold Coast, Australia.

We recently moved here from the UK after my practice sponsored me to come over to work as part of the group in progressive digital dentistry to bring some of the skills I am so passionate about in the UK to the Australian market.

I love so much about dentistry, including all the digital techniques I use, from smile design and Invisalign to same-day crowns, and I am even more lucky to be a key opinion leader for Invisalign, Itero, Exocad and GC so I can spread my love of digital dentistry to other dentists all over the world.

They even supported me to run my own course, ‘Mastering digital aesthetics’, which is looking to expand in the UK and Australia.

I love dentistry in Australia as I can live the outdoor lifestyle, live by the beach, see the ocean every day, even from my surgery, while doing all the digital dentistry I love.

They also do banging coffee here, which all dentists love!

Dentistry can be a stressful job sometimes, and comes with its challenges. Surrounding yourself with like-minded colleagues, doing the parts of the job you love in places that make you smile and happy is so important, which is why I moved to Australia to do what I love in an environment I love.

Dr Laura Maañon Garcia – Dubai

I’m Dr Laura Maañon Garcia, a Spanish dentist based in Dubai, UAE. I moved here from Cork, Ireland in 2021 and these are some of the reasons why I love it! Dubai is home to a diverse and multicultural population.

As a dentist, this allows me to meet patients and colleagues from various backgrounds and cultures on a daily basis. This exposure to different languages and cultures makes every day at work interesting and unique. Additionally, Dubai has strict regulations and maintains high standards of dental care prioritising advanced technology and infrastructure. I love having access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to deliver the best possible care to my patients.

Moreover, Dubai’s strategic location serves as a gateway to the world. This means I get the chance to attend courses and congresses in different countries by just taking a short flight. I often see patients from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. Lastly, the lifestyle here is unparalleled. It has an impressive range of different activities and dining options.

Together with its incredible number of sunny days it strikes the perfect balance between work and leisure. In conclusion, working as a dentist in Dubai has brought many advantages to my life both personally and professionally.

Dr Daria Huber – Poland

There are many opportunities in Polish dentistry and I think everyone can find their niche.

I really appreciate that there are so many ways to develop nowadays. Courses at all levels of advancement are often organised by great specialists who are happy to share their knowledge. I love it that I meet amazing dentists along the way who do not refuse help.

Also, I appreciate that most of them are specialists in many fields at the same time and do not focus on just one path. This allows for the most accurate diagnosis.

I can also see a change in patients, who are more and more willing to take care of their teeth. They care about a beautiful (usually white) smile. They follow with interest when I tell them about the need to introduce better oral hygiene, and then during subsequent visits, they boast that, for example, they bought an irrigator on my recommendation. It makes me feel like I can make a difference.

Polish dentistry is also developing dynamically in modern prosthetic solutions, precise endodontic treatments based on detailed computer tomography diagnostics and discovering the secrets of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Moreover, I admire that we are so curious to look for solutions, cooperate with other specialists and take care of the patients’ wellbeing and smile as a team. I am happy to be a part of this field of medicine.

Dr Luis M. Ilzarbe Ripoll – Spain

In Spain, at least as a tourist destination, we live in a country with a mix of heritage and an enormous cultural richness that is very attractive for foreigners! Besides, all of you who have spent some time in our country could have felt how sociable and welcoming we Spaniards are as hosts! It is part of our character and lifestyle.

Due to this need to share and to always be surrounded by people and friends, I believe that dentistry in our country has undergone spectacular progress in the last 25 years. Patients are very concerned about their oral health and the appearance of their smile, which has implicitly led to the development of our profession in terms of the number of professionals and the quality of care we are obliged to offer.

Spain is a country with a large number of universities where you can obtain a degree in dentistry and where we also have countless postgraduate training and continuing education centres of above average quality.

I have had the good fortune to travel to different countries to train and to teach in different forums and fields, where I always see the high level of care that we offer in our country. In general, Spanish dentists, and I’m one of them, finish their degree in dentistry and tend to specialise in one of the areas of dentistry and then never stop training to acquire new knowledge, learn new skills and incorporate different protocols into their day-to-day work.

We are obliged to do this because there is a huge competition between professionals and we must be continually updated to offer our patients the best therapy, so we must always learn!

It is also a very united and dynamic group that has been able to adapt to the needs of modern times, being a huge market for the industry and absolute European leaders in terms of the number of implants, the use of clear aligners and the adoption of digital protocols.

Dr Kyle Stanley – US

I think the best thing about dentistry is that we can make people look better, while ultimately making them function better, and making them healthier. There’s orthopaedic surgeons that make people function better, but they don’t get healthier, they don’t look better.

There’s plastic surgeons who can make people look better, but they don’t function better and they don’t get healthier.

And so our profession is very special in that sense. I also think that dentists practising now have a really nice opportunity to change the view of dentistry with new technology and new customer experiences.

Getting rid of this old idea of what dentistry is and how it is painful, uncomfortable and expensive. I think we can change all of that with new technology and techniques that are out today.

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